Thematic Thursday: Aus shares close 0.1% higher

Market Reports

by Liz Pal

The Australian share market has had a positive day of trade today, despite retreating throughout the afternoon. Overnight Dow and NASDAQ performance translated into a positive start but the local bourse lost momentum after midday, with Materials slipping the most. The likes of Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) and BHP (ASX:BHP) sliding more than 2 per cent.

By contrast, the best performing sectors were telco and consumer staples. Dominos Pizza Enterprises (ASX:DMP) leading their sector in light of their German pizza chain acquisition, Hallo Pizza.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 6 points up, higher to finish at 5,896.

The value of trades was $6 billion on volume of 811 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX:RIO).

On the futures market the SPI is 2 points up.

Asian markets 
Japan’s Nikkei has 0.3 per cent higher, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.13 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has shed 0.36 per cent.

Local economic news
The ABS released labour reports which provided a positive outlook for the labour market. The unemployment rate fell to 5.5 per cent for September 2017, its lowest rate since March 2013. As for employers, well they added 19, 800 jobs, 4000 jobs more than expected.

Company news
Westpac (ASX:WBC) will approximately spend $65 million in refunds to around 200, 000 customers, who lucked out on entitled benefits.
The Big 4 bank will refund customers holding ‘packaged’ accounts, who did not receive automatic benefits such as discounts on core products like home loans, credit cards and transaction accounts.The company says it will provide the refunds, plus appropriate interest, over the coming months. Shares in Westpac (ASX:WBC) were 0.57 per cent higher and last traded at $33.45.

Centuria Capital Group (ASX:CNI) has increased their stake in Centuria Metropolitan REIT to 19.9 per cent.The property investment firm continues its co-investment stake following its $60 million entitlement offer on the 4th of October. The company, who recently banked a $25.8 million performance fee from the 10 Spring Street sale, is confident the investment will continue to deliver excellent outcomes for security holders. Shares in Centuria Capital (ASX:CNI) were 1.76 per cent higher and last traded at $1.45.

BHP (ASX:BHP) has announced its Chairman of the Sustainability Committee, Malcolm Brinded will be standing down from his role and as a Non-Executive Director.

Oil and gas producer, Santos (ASX:STO) has upgraded its sales guidance to 79-82 million barrels of oil equivalents on the back of seeing a spike in its sales revenue.

Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (ASX:API), who own Priceline and Soul Pattinson, has seen a 5.4 per cent rise in its NPAT to $54.2 million compared to the prior corresponding period.

To the best and worst performers
Best performing was utilities, gaining 0.64 per cent to close at 8,301.
The worst performing sector was material shedding 1.08 per cent to close at 10,660 points.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY), rising 5.49 per cent to close at $3.84. Shares in Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (ASX:API) and Aveo Group (ASX:AOG) also closed higher.
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG), losing 3.74 per cent to close at $1.03. Shares in Super Retail Group (ASX:SUL) and St Barbra (ASX:SBM) also closed lower.

Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,278 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.14 higher at $US52.25 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 78.57 US cents.